Best Bites: Chorizo sage mac and cheese baked in a squash

Welcome to Best Bites, a twice-weekly video series that aims to satisfy your never-ending craving for food content through quick, beautiful videos for the at-home foodie. 

This dish takes comfort food to a whole other level! Learn how to make chorizo mac and cheese baked in a squash in this episode of Best Bites!

Ingredients:

  • 1 2-3 lb pumpkin (we used a Japanese winter squash called Kabocha)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 8 oz Mexican chorizo, removed from casing
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ½ lb pasta

Topping: 

  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp parsley
  • ¾ cup bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Cut the top off the pumpkin at a 45 degree angle, as you would to make a jack 0 lantern. Scoop out the seeds and stringy bits. You want the inside pretty clean. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put the top back on pumpkin and bake, 45 minutes.
  2. In a medium sized sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil and chorizo. Cook 10 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat warm the milk with the sage steeping in it.
  4. In a medium sized saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and add the shallot. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the warmed milk and whisk until well combined. Turn up the heat and thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the past al dente and drain.
  6. Slowly stir in the cheese, a small handful at a time. Then stir chorizo into the béchamel sauce. Mix the cooked pasta into the sauce. Ladle into the pumpkin and put the top back on. Bake 20-25 minutes. Let it sit 10 minutes before serving. Scrape pumpkin into every bowl. Sprinkle topping.

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  • 1 ¼ cup Almond flour
  • 1 1/8 cup Cake flour
  • 1 1/8 cup Sugar
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ cup Brown butter (room temp)
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract

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  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ¾ cup Dark corn syrup
  • ¾ cup Light corn syrup
  • 5 eggs
  • ¼ cup Unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 ½ cup Pecans (rough chopped)
  • ½ tsp Kosher salt
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  • 2 cups Milk
  • 1 ¼ cup Heavy cream
  • 9 Egg yolks
  • ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp – Sugar
  • 2 Vanilla beans
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup Crème fraiche

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2. To make the pecan pie filling, heat sugar, light and dark syrups, and vanilla to simmer. Remove from heat and add bourbon. Whisk the hot sugar mix into eggs while whisking. Add butter and salt.

3. To make the brown butter almond cake, mix all dry ingredients in a mixer with paddle attachment. Add in room temperature butter and continue to mix in slow speed. Then add egg whites and vanilla and mix until well incorporated.

4. Place cake batter in piping bag and pipe ½ inch thick in 1 8-inch pie dish or a 3” ramekin in diameter.

5. Place pecans on a sheet pan, and torch to char with TS4000 Bernzomatic torch. Then place pecans over brown butter cake batter in ramekins and pour sugar syrup to cover. Torch away air bubbles. Bake for 25-35 minutes.

OPTIONAL: Top off the dessert with a crème fraiche crème anglaise

1. To make the crème place milk, sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla beans into a stainless-steel pan and bring to a raging boil. While milk is heating place yolks, and salt in a container/bowl big enough to fit milk mix as well.

2. Have a hand blender on hand and ready, once milk mix comes to a raging boil, place handheld blender into the yolks mix and buzz milk mix into yolks. Strain using a chinois and add crème fraiche. Let cool before topping on pastry.

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INGREDIENTS

• (4) Nectarines (sliced in half)
• (1) Tsp Salted honey
• (1) Tbs finely chopped dried cranberries
• (¼) cup balsamic vinegar
• (1) Tsp Thyme, chopped
• (1) Burrata
• (1)-(2) Tbs Heavy cream

RECIPE

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees
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3. Whipped Burrata: Place burrata in a food processor.
4. Add heavy cream and process. Consistency should be creamy. Pour into pastry bag.
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